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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The First Snowfall

Pin It I awoke the other morning and looked out my window. I could see the first few flakes of pure white drifting lazily from the heavens. I sat and watched them for a moment or two, thinking of days passed by and people long-since gone.

A moved down the stairs into the living room I’d decorated a week ago before I left on my whirlwind trip. I ignited the lights on the Christmas tree, as well as those running up the stairs interlaced with garland. My quiet home began to wake up and come to life. I decided to play David Tolk’s new Christmas album (if you haven’t heard it yet, it’s simply amazing…but then again, all of his music is). As its strains filled the house, it intermingled with the smell of pumpkin spice candles and tortellini soup, bringing that distinct feeling that Christmas is just around the corner.

What is it about the first snow that seems to erase all that is bad in the world and brings a feeling of newness? Is it the idea that slumbering beneath the blanket of white is a whole new world waiting to be born yet anew in the spring?

I think that’s part of it…

I can remember my own childlike wonder on the day of the first snow. I remember looking out the large picture window of our small house on that stretch of winding country road. I remember dressing up against the snow and chill with coat, mittens, scarf, and winter hat. I remember venturing out into the slowly drifting flakes, floating like cotton-fluff on the air, softly stealing way to the ground like manna from heaven. I remember holding my face to the sky as I would allow these crystalline flakes to settle on my tongue, despite the warnings of my mother that snow spiders lived in them, that they would crawl onto my stomach and lay eggs that would hatch during the night, and baby snow spiders would crawl out of my ears and nose while I slept.

Let the snow spiders come…snatching the flakes from the air with my tongue was worth it.

I remember dad coming home from work and we’d all climb into the old, white Ford pickup to go and find the perfect tree which would complete Christmas. I remember the drive taking a long time, but not really caring, the exhilaration of the moment had me practically bursting with excitement. We pulled off the road somewhere deep in the heart of the Huckleberry Mountains. We trudged through snowdrifts that were well past my knees – all in the hunt to find that perfect tree.

When we got in the tree home, we set up in the living room, coating it with multicolored lights, troves of decorations we had since forever, and the homemade paper chains, popsicle stick decorations, and strung lengths of cranberries and popcorn. Once it was finished, entire house seemed to come to life in a way that was only possible at Christmas.

Mom would play her Christmas albums, and the sounds of the season would intermingle with everything else. Sometimes she would get out the old, orange Betty Crocker cookbook and make Candy Cane cookies.

I can still taste them.

I sit in now my house, thinking of years gone by as the cotton-fluff flakes continue to gather over everything I see. You know, there’s just something about the first snowfall when nearing Christmas, and starting to feel that selfsame glow from days gone by, and Christmases past.

Let it snow…


Rachel said...

It is a magical time of year. As I sit here surrounded by boxes full of Christmas decorations, some opened and spilling their goodies forth on the floor, some decorations up.... I am trying to remember that this chaos will be magical at some point when I get it all organized, the decorations where they should go, and the empty boxes stowed away. Let the magic begin! Now, where are those darn stocking hangers.......

M-Cat said...

Beautifully written.

Richard & Natalie said...

Okay...when you put it that way...LET IT SNOW!!!
This was beautiful; it made me a little teary.

Gerb said...

This snow brings out the same sort of emotions in me - it is like a magical memory-inducing powder. Thanks for helping melt my heart a bit this year with your words. (It tends to get a bit icy with all of the commercialism which surrounds Christmas - you helped me remember the wonderful things about this time of year.)

And now I'm off to make a batch of my own candy cane cookies!

Natasha said...

I agree. Waking up to snow makes everything magical. I'll need to find a recipe for the candy cane cookies, they really are good. And adorable picture of you as a child!

tammy said...

Your memories brought back tons of my own. Thanks.

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